With Josh still in Portland for business our third day got off to a rough start. A friend from Australia was visiting and we wanted to meet up. It never happened. We missed him by a few hours. Why? As I was getting the kids dressed I started to brush Mia’s hair and noticed a huge clump of pink, sticky, icky, gum in it. Our first gum-in-the-hair experience.
I can only imagine where she got it. Perhaps when she was lying down on the seat at the restaurant last night and put her head under the table. I mean yuck, it wasn’t even hers. This big mess was in my daughter's beautiful blonde locks. I love my daughter's hair. Scissors were not the answer. We do some Internet research on how to remove it and decide on the oil method. I spray her hair with canola oil (thank God the Owner has pantry items), leave it in for a while, giving it a little massage and then start using my fingers to pull out those disgusting pink strands of gooeyness, trying not to imagine who's slobbering mouth it was in. There are many tears as I pull strand after strange, but soon she is under the shower for a hair wash and we are certain every last piece has left and her hair does not look too worse for wear.
When we are finally ready we have missed our friend and must amuse ourselves for the day. Thinking to head to Santa Monica Pier anyway we head to the train station only to realise it’s a bus station we need and the whole thing just seems to overwhelming with 2 kids by myself… I tell you I am lost without my husband!
As I stand at the bus stop wondering to try the bus or just head home I see a answer to my prayers way across the street. A wonderful, life, saving sign. No, not the Morman advertisement, next to it. The Starline Tours sign for Hollywood Hop-On-Hop-Off. I walk over (careful not to jaywalk) and enquire about a ticket. Mia and Caius are free and she can give me a ticket for $40.00, so at 11am we finally get on the bus and are off to check out Hollywood.
We take the tour all the way into Beverly Hills where we swap for the bus that takes us to Santa Monica Pier. As we are walking towards the Pier Mia and Caius spot birds and are off on the time of their life chasing them. Before long they are both in different directions and I am yelling at both to come back. Some cops are teling off some randoms and stop Mia. Oh no - her first brush with the law.
As I wonder over, finally with Caius in my arms, the cop is explaining to Mia that she has to be a good helper to earn her police sticker. She is over-the-moon with her new badge and becomes very helpful. Happy mum back in control we commence our walk/run down the bridge to Santa Monica Pier.
We have fun on the Pier chasing more birds, taking photos of the famous Baywatch beach, trying on ridiculous hats, riding the ancient carousel and walking the entire length. The sun starts setting about 4:45pm and the air drops a few degrees, so we walk back to the bus stop and hop on for the journey home.
You need to leave the bus for another one to head back to Hollywood and both my kids had fallen asleep. I had no idea how I was going to get both of them off the bus by myself when a beautiful mum & daughter from Turkey come to my aid. The mother wheels Mia in the stroller while I carry Caius. She even offers her jacket for the kids, as the evening has gotten colder and wetter.
I dread getting off at our stop with my two sleeping babies and contemplate taking a cab, but Mia is a real trooper and successfully wakes up to manage the walk home. I order some Thai food on the way home and pick up some soup from a minimart. The kids eat the soup and my husband picks up the Thai on the way home from the airport.
Seeing him walk through that door at 8:30pm that night was the biggest relief ever. It had only been 2 days and one night, but it had been long enough. I am so thankful to have him, not just for his muscles to carry sleeping children, but because he completes me and my life is not right when he is not in it.
The hop-on-hop-off was great and I can highly recommend it. I learnt lots about the Hollywood area. With 2 kids and myself it was a great relief to be able to see all the sites on the comfort of the bus without having to figure it out all by myself. As on previous occasions love the hop-on-hop-off (which I only hoped off once!).
Tip: If you buy your hop-on-hop-off ticket online in advance you can save at least $5 per adult ticket, and more for multi-day tickets.